Answers to your
questions so far.

We’ve already received and answered some questions that are top of mind for everyone involved. The questions and answers are in the section below.

Why do we need to explore a partnership at this time?

An exciting aspect of this partnership is that none of the three credit unions need to merge, they are choosing to. We believe it simply makes sense. Farm, business, and consumer needs are changing. The financial services landscape is changing. We want to do better than just keep up.

The partnership will ensure we are sustainable long term. It will help us leverage opportunities and mitigate risks in the marketplace. And most important, it will give us the scale to actually grow financial services that are tailored to lifestyles and businesses here in rural Saskatchewan. When we say we’re driving rural prosperity, we mean it and are committed to it.

What do you hope a partnership will help the credit unions achieve?

We will be able to continue leading and driving prosperity in rural Saskatchewan – at a time when many major financial institutions are pulling back from rural areas. We will have more to invest in technologies that improve operations, access and member services. It will ensure we remain price competitive. We will have more to invest in our community partnerships. We will look to expand where it makes sense, with focus on the members and communities we serve.

Will my branch close or the days it is open be reduced as a result of the merger?

One of the goals of this merger is to maintain in person service.  Many financial institutions find efficiencies through leaving our small communities.  We are choosing to find efficiencies through partnerships that will make our commitment to providing financial services in rural SK sustainable. If our communities continue to support us and our branches remain profitable, our commitment is to be there to serve our communities.  

Will any employees lose their jobs as a result of the merger?

Although roles may evolve, there will be a home for all current staff in the new credit union. Credit unions, like many other organizations in Saskatchewan are facing challenges to ensure we have the staff we need to serve our members optimally. This partnership will help us attract employees and retain the amazing ones who already work with us. In addition there will be new opportunities as more specialized and diverse roles are needed in the larger organization.

What will the name of the new credit union be?

We are currently working with a professional brand development firm to help us create a new name that will reflect who we are, who we can become and where we do business. The naming process will include engagement with our employees and Board members to generate ideas and begin the exciting journey of building a solid brand.

Who can I talk to about this partnership?

Any of our staff or Directors would be happy to discuss this exciting partnership. If you would like to reach out and speak to someone directly please visit Let’s Connect.

When would the merger take effect?

We have completed a robust due diligence review, and the business case has been unanimously approved by all three-credit union Board of Directors.  We are recommending we move forward with our partnership merger to a membership vote in September 2024 with a legal closing date of January 1, 2025.  Throughout 2025, while we continue to focus on our member service and experience, we will also move through the integration phase.

Where can I get more information about each of the partners?

Please visit each of the credit unions’ websites or reach out to our staff and Directors who are happy to chat about this exciting partnership:

Bigger isn’t always better.

We are focused on supporting growth in Saskatchewan for the benefit of all our members, not for the profit of stakeholders that don’t live here.  Our priority is our local communities and our people. By choosing to partner with like-minded credit unions, we are able to uphold our commitment to communities and building relationships. You will continue to be helped and guided by the same staff who you have already built trust with.

What are the benefits of a partnership to me as a member?

We’re exploring this merger specifically to be of better service to our members and to ensure that is always the case. The many benefits include:

  • Sustainable, reliable access to financial services in rural Saskatchewan communities.
  • Additional capacity to price products and services competitively.
  • New products and ideas made possible by our greater capacity.
  • More training and growth opportunities for our employees.
  • Increased capacity to support our communities.
  • Increased volumes resulting in improved efficiencies of scale.

The wellbeing of our members here at home is our priority.

Will the products and services I have now change?

The way you bank with any of the three credit unions today should remain very familiar. There will be positive choices over time: new account ideas, new products and services, improved access thanks to improving technology. No one wants change for the sake of change. But the changes we can make together can be well-informed, well-communicated and offered as a choice. We think that’s all good news.

Will merging the operations disrupt my day-to-day banking?

If the three credit unions come together, there may be very small disruptions to banking systems and the like as operation integration happens. We’ve spread the timeline out for that work, and we’ll do everything in our power to reduce or eliminate disruption.

How will this merger impact banking for businesses and farms?

The new credit union will have the scale ($2 billion in assets) and the footprint (rural Saskatchewan, south to north) to enhance farm and business banking services. We’ll be able to help more businesses grow. We’ll be able to tailor products specifically for rural and local requirements. We will be able to make decisions close to home – where you work. We see the potential of every business and farm in Saskatchewan and we plan to ensure everyone has the opportunity to prosper.

Will there be an impact on member service levels because of the Merger?

The combined strengths of each credit union will allow us to enhance member experience and attract new members as we continue to grow in the future.  In most cases you will continue to deal with the trusted advisors you work with today. 

Will deposits still be guaranteed?

Yes.  The merger will not affect the deposit guarantee.  Deposits are 100% guaranteed today through Credit Union Deposit Guarantee Corporation and will continue to be so in the new credit union. 

Why not merge with one of the large urban CUs to better support the natural migration of youth members from rural SK to the city?

Our focus on rural Saskatchewan is intentional.  As the competition continues to leave our communities we continue to invest in them through local advice, being a good employer, and investing our profits back into our communities.  We believe in both an in-branch personal experience as well we know we need to continue to invest in technology to allow our members the convenience to transact whenever and wherever they are.  Over the years we have seen members come and go from our communities.  People are no longer choosing their financial institution by geographical location or proximity.  We find that members of today are more committed to their roots and are quite happy to contact their local advisor in their preferred method.  They want to do business with the credit union profession who they have a built a relationship with and who understands their borrowing and investing needs.  The remainder of their transactions are conducted through digital channels.  As a large credit union, we will continue to invest in the new technologies to meet the future needs of all members. 

Will I still be able to phone my branch without having to go through an automated router? Will a real person still be answering the phones?

We pride ourselves on being available to our members, and that’s not something we are considering changing through the course of this merger.

Will there be any branches in the city of Saskatoon?

The new credit union will have 30 branches across Saskatchewan.  Today, all three credit unions have members living in Saskatoon, Regina, and many other locations.  We know our members and they know us; their trusted advisor is only a click or phone call away.   We make our decisions locally which ensures we can serve members effectively and efficiently.  This includes those who remain in our local communities and those who have moved from the area.  In addition, we continue to invest in digital banking channels and apps to provide convenient account access to our members wherever they call home. 

How will the member-elected Board of the new credit union be set up?

Each of the three partners will have four Board seats at the new credit union. That is why we call it an equal partnership. We’re very proud of how all three Boards have put this plan together – it makes us unique and truly reflects our intent to sustain and grow tailored financial services in rural Saskatchewan.

Who will the new CEO be?

The new CEO will be Blair Wingert, the CEO from Prairie Centre Credit Union. His leadership peers, Colleen Harmatiuk from Diamond North Credit Union, and Glen Goddard from Cypress Credit Union will support Blair in leadership roles for as long as they are needed.

What impact will the partnership have on the community I live in?

First and foremost, the partnership between our three credit unions will ensure we can sustain and even grow financial services tailored to rural Saskatchewan.

Will there still be profit sharing and community sponsorships?

All three credit unions are committed to giving back to their communities through financial sponsorships and volunteerism. This is a vital component of the cooperative principles which we will remain true to as we move forward. Profit sharing programs will be evaluated and may be redesigned to align with what is important to the member, today.

If the Boards agree this makes sense, when will members get to vote?

The member vote will take place in Fall of 2024. Please follow the roadmap for updates as the process unfolds and look for voting information and news on this website when it becomes available.

How will I be able to vote?

All members will be able to cast their vote electronically on their credit union website. Details around the voting process will be communicated when it becomes available.

As new questions come in, we’ll add those to the FAQs.

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